first published on May 28, 2018 by Will
A news video from May 2018 shows a Ukrainian sniper engage and hit a Russian-backed separatist with what is reportedly an American rifle.
The news anchor claims the hit on target was made at a distance of around 1,000 meters, and although that claim can’t be fully verified from the video, there is at least a full second from when the rifle recoil can be seen and when the round impacts.
The rifle, a familiar-looking bolt action classic hunting type, appears to have enough custom work done to make it not readily identifiable, although the side switch safety is possibly indicative of a Winchester Model 70 or FNH USA tactical sport rifle.
The rifle wears a long range precision optic, free float stock, fluted barrel, bipod, and a sound suppressor. The marksman himself is wearing an interesting camouflage, likely a domestically-developed pattern like “Jaba” or similar.
In December 2017, the Trump Administration approved the sale of precision type “sniper” rifles, optics, and ammunition, by private arms manufacturers and distributors to the Ukrainian government. Most notably, rifle manufacturer Barrett struck a deal to sell over $40 million in .50 cal M107A1 sniper rifles and related equipment to Ukraine.
It is unclear at this time if the rifle exhibited in the video was acquired as part of Trump’s deal or if the American rifle was purchased through other means.